Men's Health Week starts today, and one Salt Lake expert has some unusual advice on how men can help fend off one of the worst killers stalking them: Drink tomato juice.
"The big news is that now we know that . . . lycopene helps protect against prostate cancer," said Luke R. Bucci, vice president of Weider Nutrition Group in Salt Lake City. "What's nice is that you can either eat a lot of tomatoes - and that includes ketchup - or lycopene supplement."That is substantiated by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, according to an article in the April edition of the group's Nutrition Action Healthletter. It says men who eat tomato sauce just once a week may see their risk of developing deadly prostate cancer reduced by 23 percent, compared with men who never eat it.
According to the group, researchers believe this benefit may come from lycopene, a chemical that gives tomatoes their color.
The same finding is reported by the Medical Education and Research Foundation, quoting a Harvard study. The lycopene is an anti-oxidant found in tomatoes, according to the foundation.
Bucci, a member of the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board and a certified nutrition specialist, says the amount of lycopene that a man can obtain from supplements is greater than he'd usually get in a day of eating tomato products.
"That's brand-new research, and I think it's very important," he said. He is the author of several educational papers distributed by The Summit Group to teach health-care professionals and the public about the benefits of good nutrition.